The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

January 15, 2013

Council wrestles with definition of 'pride'

Several options discussed for aesthetics of Market Street Bridge construction

OTTUMWA — Ottumwa City Council members had a lot of questions about Mayor Frank Flanders’ idea for “Pride in Ottumwa” Awards.

“I had a discussion with Terry McNitt [executive director of the Ottumwa Area Chamber of Commerce] a few months ago, and he brought the idea up,” Flanders said.

He said unlike the Gene Schultz Community Service Award, which is awarded annually, the Pride in Ottumwa Award could be awarded monthly.

“One concern is how do you identify pride in Ottumwa, so it’s clear,” said Councilman Bob Meyers.

Flanders said the award should be given to those who show “in any significant way” pride in being an Ottumwan.

“One of the things I want to see in Ottumwa is people have that greater sense of self-esteem, particularly groups who haven’t felt as enfranchised,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what part of town you live in ... if you show in some significant way your pride in Ottumwa.”

But if the award is given to too many people, it minimizes it, he said.

“I think you’ll have a tough time defining pride in Ottumwa,” said Councilman Jeremy Weller. “Is it a person who mows their grass, who plants flowers? Where does pride start and where does it stop and how do you define pride in Ottumwa?”

Flanders said it’s “something that would get the attention of people.”

He also noted that he doesn’t want the award to be influenced by a person’s socio-economic status in any way.

Weller said defining the word “pride” is not hard, but narrowing down the definition of the award is.

“Doing something like this is more important as a morale booster than worrying about the details,” Flanders said.

Councilman J.R. Richards suggested that the keyword be changed from “pride” to “citizenship.”

The council also discussed options for the Market Street Bridge deck replacement. They can choose all, none or a combination of an aesthetic fence, aesthetic barrier rail, aesthetic lighting, 8-foot sidewalk width or viewing platforms at pier locations.

It will all come down to how much money they want to put toward the project’s enhancements.

The original cost estimate of the deck replacement and bridge enhancements was $3.07 million, which would include a chain link fence, basic concrete barrier rail, basic light poles and no aesthetics.

Depending on which aesthetics and which sidewalk the council chooses, the project cost could range from $2.8 million to $3.6 million.

Aesthetic additions of decorative steel handrails, an aesthetic barrier rail and decorative light poles would tack $425,000 on to the project cost.

Widening the sidewalk to 8 feet would also add $400,000 to the project.

Public Works Director Larry Seals said roughly two decks will last on every bridge super-structure.

“And we did get a 40-year life out of it,” he said.

Councilman Mitch Niner said he hopes the city will take better care of this bridge as it does with the Jefferson Street Bridge.

“There was already some damage early on with deck failures,” Seals said of the Market Street Bridge. “There was patching done with bag mix and at some point the decision was made, at least 15 years ago, to overlay it. That’s one of the things you don’t do is put asphalt on top. We will change how maintenance is done. We’ll adopt the practices we do on Jefferson.”

Councilman Brian Morgan said it would be nice to have aesthetics, an 8-foot sidewalk and lookouts, “but we can’t spend $900,000 on this all ourselves.” He suggested that the city partner with the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation to fund the enhancements.

City engineer Dan Sturm said the council has approximately one month to make a decision on what it wants the bridge to look like.

The city received a $1 million grant from the Highway Bridge Program, as well as $1.5 million in STP funds through Area 15. The city will contribute approximately $575,000 in local funds.

“I would like to see us proceed with aesthetics and an 8-foot sidewalk,” Weller said. “It would be great if when the project comes to us for approval if Legacy could step in and help out, but even if they don’t, I would like to see this happen.”

He said parking at the Bridge View Center is terrible, and with a wider sidewalk that connects to the trails on either side of the river, patrons would be more likely to frequent downtown restaurants and shops.

“When we started five years ago, the concept was to tie the two downtowns together,” Seals said.

Seals previously told the Courier he hopes to begin construction on the bridge in January or February 2014.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 0802 OTT 73 Annual Golf Classic 73rd Annual Golf Classic OTTUMWA — There were a few records broken at the 73rd Annual Chamber Golf Classic Friday. "We had a record amount of people, and we also had a record amount of sponsors," said Tim Kurtz, executive director of the Ottumwa Area Chamber of Commerce. Fri

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Beach Task Force formation under consideration OTTUMWA — From the establishment of a Beach Task Force, to public hearings, to a discussion of open meetings rules and training, the Ottumwa City Council will have a full pate of items to digest during its meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 5. The council will

    August 1, 2014

  • Sewer works starts on Glenwood OTTUMWA — The 900 block of Glenwood Avenue will be closed to traffic starting Tuesday, Aug. 5. Boitnott Enterprises will be closing that block of Glenwood for a repair of a sewer lateral. Motorists should seek other routes around the work zone. Thi

    August 1, 2014

  • Emergency Management Coordinator leaving OTTUMWA — Wapello County Supervisors are hoping to compromise and assign a tax sale certificate to property owners within the city of Ottumwa. On Tuesday, the board will meet at 9:30 a.m. in the third-floor meeting room to discuss a variety of issues

    August 1, 2014

  • CAUTION: Drivers will notice delays on Quincy Ave. OTTUMWA — Beginning Monday, drivers on Quincy Avenue will start to notice the beginning of a major reconstruction project in South Ottumwa. The right lane of northbound traffic on Quincy Avenue, from the car wash located near the Quincy Place Mall's

    August 1, 2014

  • Transfer of West Nile Virus First reports of West Nile Virus coming in OTTUMWA — Three cases of West Nile Virus have already been reported in the state of Iowa this summer, but the timing isn't much out of the ordinary, local officials say. Current surveillance data shows one case each in Clay, Monona and Woodbury count

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • WWI outbreak stranded Ottumwan in Paris

    OTTUMWA — Being stuck in Paris isn’t the worst thing in the world. The City of Light has always been a key stop for Americans traveling to Europe. It’s a city of culture, capitol of a world power. But Howell Cresswell, an Ottumwan in Paris, wanted no

    August 1, 2014

  • File.png Pleasant start to August

    OTTUMWA — Seasonal temperatures and a slight risk of rain herald the arrival of August in southeast Iowa.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Graham's presentation A sweet history lesson OTTUMWA — In one of the most popular monthly presentations the Wapello County Historical Society has ever hosted, it was standing-room only to hear the history of Graham Milk and Ice Cream Company and try some of the popular product. A landmark in Ot

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • Ready, set, shop! OTTUMWA — Iowa's government says businesses must participate in the Tax-Free Weekend this Friday and Saturday. Store manager Greg Martin isn't complaining. "It’ll be much busier [than typical weekends]. Back to school is the second busiest season nex

    July 31, 2014

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook